Wed, Apr 18, 2012
Bill Directs Secretary LaHood To Apply Single Standard To Crew Rest Rules
U.S. Representatives Chip Cravaack (R-MN) and Tim Bishop (D-NY) introduced H.R. 4350, the Safe Skies Act of 2012. Importantly, the bill would ensure that pilot rest requirements apply to all cargo air operations.
Following the Colgan Air Flight 3407 crash on February 12, 2009, the FAA developed a rule to address pilot fatigue for passenger flights using extensive scientific study, hearings, and industry feedback. The rule, which requires eight hours of rest between shifts, was finalized on January 4th, 2012. The rule is scheduled go into effect January 14, 2014, but exempts cargo pilots.
“As a former cargo pilot, I understand the importance of a single standard of safety for pilots who share the same airspace and runways with passenger aircraft. I introduced the Safe Skies Act in order to apply the new, common sense standards for pilot rest to cargo pilots as well,” said Rep. Cravaack.
Specifically, the bill directs the Secretary of Transportation to apply the rule relating to flight crew member duty and rest requirements to all-cargo operations in the same manner as they apply to passenger operations.
“Congressman Cravaack has shown real leadership today by introducing legislation to ensure that the FAA’s recently enacted flight duty and rest requirements for passenger airlines equally apply to all-cargo carriers,” said Independent Pilots Association President, Captain Robert Travis. “The Cravaack-Bishop Safe Skies Act of 2012 will bring the FAA’s final rule back in line with Congress' original intent, one level of safety for U.S. aviation.”
The legislation was welcomed by ALPA. “The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l, hails the introduction of the Safe Skies Act of 2012 as serious action to enhance the safety of air transportation by ensuring that all-cargo airlines meet the same high safety standards as the passenger airlines with which they share airports and airspace," said the organizations president, Capt. Lee Moak. “Airline pilots strongly commend Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-MN) and Rep. Tim Bishop (D-NY) for their leadership in introducing this bill. If passed, the legislation would direct the U.S. Department of Transportation to apply the Federal Aviation Administration’s flight- and duty-time regulations and minimum rest requirements to all-cargo airline operations in the same way that the science-based regulations currently apply to passenger operations.
“All airline pilots are human beings, and all airline operations should benefit from the same high safety standards. This bill would achieve what Congress intended when it passed the Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Act of 2010 (P.L. 11-216), by mandating that the FAA’s regulations apply to all commercial airline pilots, regardless of whether they fly passengers or cargo. ALPA urges Congress to take up and pass the Cravaack-Bishop bill as swiftly as possible.” (Images: Top Reps Cravaack (left), Bishop (right), Bottom Capt. Lee Moak)
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